Kelvin Gastelum vs. Rick Story
To conclude the prelims, former Ultimate Fighter winner Kelvin Gastelum will square off with Rick Story.
Gastelum (7-0), a surprise winner on season 17 of TUF, finished Brian Melancon in his most recent bout. Story (16-7) has gone 3-2 in his last five, including a November decision win over Brian Ebersole.
Gastelum had a rough time on Friday, coming in over the welterweight limit. He eventually made it, but looked extremely drained.
Round 1: Gastelum is looking much better than he did at weigh-ins. Story looking to find his range, but Gastelum lands a nice right-hand to start the action. Story has taken note, and is being a little more hesitant getting close. Stiff jab from Gastelum lands, forcing Story to go back to the body. Cut has opened up under the left eye of Story and he is bleeding pretty badly. Another left from Gastelum and he lands a head kick that sends Story flying to the ground. Gastelum mounts, but Story gets a butterfly guard in place to re-gain his composure. Two minutes left in this round and Gastelum is in a great position. To side control and he takes his back before shifting back to the mount, but Story slips out. Gastelum with an overhand left and a knee to the body, followed by another. Gastelum has been on-point so far, just picking Story apart.
FightLine scores the round 10-8 for Gastelum
Round 2: Story showing his power, sending Gastelum back a few feet with an early attack. Gastelum, though, snaps off a quick jab that pops Story’s head back. Pair of nice kicks to the lead leg from the TUF winner. Left from Gastelum rocks Story again, but he is unable to follow up. Just perfect striking by Gastelum, who has busted up Story’s lip. He’s also mixing his strikes up with kicks to keep the veteran off balance. Story, out of nowhere, drops Gastelum with a flurry. He pounces and Gastelum is possibly saved by the bell. What an incredible attack by Story and Gastelum looks very upset as he heads to his corner.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Story
Round 3: Story has come confidence now after that finish, coming out with his own kicks to the leg. Another kick to the body by Story and Gastelum looks like he is stuck in mud. Story shoots for a takedown, eats some shots, and gets denied. Gastelum had little trouble fending off that attempt. Gastelum fires off his left and lands, following up with a takedown as we go under three minutes. Gastelum to the back, Story attempting to roll under and he shakes him off, winding up on his back with hooks locked in. Gastelum working to keep Story from getting the choke, hand fighting with under two minutes to go. Gastelum fends off the choke and reverses, taking the fight back to the feet with 30 seconds left. Gastelum tags him with another left and they finish the round trading blows.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Gastelum
Kelvin Gastelum def. Rick Story via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)